If you have low vision, there are many different types of low vision aids that can help you make the most of your remaining vision. The right aid for you depends on several factors, including the severity of your vision loss, your lifestyle and activities, and your budget.
Adjusting to low vision aids can take some time, but with patience and practice, you can learn to use them effectively. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Be patient – it takes time to get used to using low vision aids. Give yourself time to adjust and don’t be discouraged if things seem difficult at first.
- Seek professional help – a low vision rehabilitation specialist can assess your needs and help you choose the right aid for you. They can also provide training on how to use your new device.
- Join a support group – talking to others who are living with low vision can be helpful and supportive. There are many online groups available, or you may be able to find a local group through your eye doctor or rehabilitation specialist.
The Different Types of Low Vision Aids.
Electronic low vision aids use magnification or other technological means to improve vision. They include handheld and desktop video magnifiers, closed-circuit television systems (CCTVs), and computer software that enlarges text or provides spoken output.
Non-Electronic Low Vision Aids.
Non-electronic low vision aids do not rely on technology and can be used without electricity. They include magnifying glasses, standing magnifiers, hand-held magnifiers, simple telescopes, and monoculars.
How to Choose the Right Low Vision Aid for You.
The first step in choosing the right low vision aid is to consider your level of vision loss. There are four primary types of vision loss:
Mild vision loss
This means that you have some trouble seeing objects up close, but you can still see well enough to drive and read most print material. You may benefit from a magnifier or other non-electronic low vision aid.
Moderate vision loss
This means that you have difficulty seeing both up close and at a distance. You may need to use both magnification and special lighting to see well enough to function on a daily basis. You may also benefit from an electronic low vision aid such as a video magnifier or handheld electronic magnifier.
Severe vision loss
This means that you can only see light and dark and/or large shapes. You will likely need to use an electronic low vision aid such as a CCTV (closed circuit television) or other types of video magnifier in order to function on a daily basis.
Profound vision loss
This means that you are blind or nearly blind and cannot see even with the use of electronic low vision aids. You may benefit from assistive technologies such as Braille or screen reading software, which can help you access information electronically.
Consider Your Lifestyle and Activities.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a low vision aid is your lifestyle and activities. Ask yourself how often you will be using the device and for what purpose. For example, if you only need help occasionally reading print material, a simple handheld magnifier may suffice. However, if you need help with everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and getting around your house, you will likely need a more sophisticated device such as an electronic video magnifier or CCTV system. It is also important to consider whether you will be using the device at home or away from home, as this can impact portability and ease of use requirements.
Consider the Cost.
Cost is another important factor to consider when choosing a low vision aid since many devices can be quite expensive. Fortunately, there are many financing options available to help offset the cost of high-end devices such as CCTVs (closed circuit television systems). In addition, many insurance plans offer coverage for low vision aids so be sure to check with your provider to see if your policy offers any benefits for people with visual impairments.
Tips for Adjusting to Low Vision Aids.
It can take some time to get used to using low vision aids. Be patient with yourself and give yourself time to adjust. It might help to practice using your aid in short sessions at first, gradually increasing the amount of time you use it as you get more comfortable.
Seek Professional Help.
If you’re having trouble adjusting to your low vision aid, seek professional help from a low vision specialist or rehabilitation counselor. They can provide you with guidance and support as you learn how to use your aid effectively.
Join a Support Group.
There are many support groups for people with low vision. These groups can be great resources for information and emotional support.
If you have low vision, there are many different types of low vision aids that can help you. How do you choose the right one for you? First, consider your level of vision loss and what activities and lifestyle you have. Then, think about the cost of the device. Finally, be patient as you adjust to using the aid. There are also support groups available to help you through this process.